Philippines Repeal Cabotage Law
The Philippines has waived its cabotage laws. President Benigno Aquino III signed the Philippine Competition Act, which will open competition on its commercial waterways. The repeal is aimed at decreasing transportation costs and will allow foreign operators to ship domestic cargoes within Philippines sovereign territories. The new regulation was enacted by the Philippine Competition Committee.
National trade groups rallied to repeal the cabotage law due to the Philippines archipelago being more of an international trading zone encompassing Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and Malaysia. The trade groups claim they can ship cargoes internationally cheaper than domestic shipping.
With a population of about 100,998,376, the Philippines is the 12th most populous nation in the world. Its flagged fleet is about 446 vessels while its largest container port, Manila, throughput is just 3,342,200 TEUs. The Philippine Competition Act is expected to have an immediate impact on its economy, which is ranked 153rd globally with a GDP of $693.7 billion.